Explore Indonesia #11: 3 Days in UBUD Bali (3-Day Ubud Itinerary)

Early June this year, my parents came up to Jakarta and together, we went for a weekend getaway to Bali. I wanted to spend all of our three days in Ubud because I had already visited Seminyak and Nusa Dua in a previous Bali trip last year. Plus I’ve heard so much about Ubud — Bali’s artistic and traditional homeland.

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Weekend getaway with family in Ubud, Bali.

We stayed at The Purist Villas, a tropical Villa Resort 5 minutes drive from the heart of Ubud. The resort is nestled into natural Balinese surroundings, which can be seen directly from the villas, restaurant and main pool.

Designed with the concept of privacy, comfort, and modern architecture combined with traditional features, our stay there was PURE BLISS.

Day 1

Ubud is most well-known for her stunning and famed rice terraces and the Tegalalang Rice Terrace is a key highlight.

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Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Ubud.

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Beautiful scenes of rice paddies involving traditional Balinese cooperative irrigation system.

This exquisite terrace is located precisely on a hill bank, with a breathtaking valley panorama and coconut trees ornamenting the surroundings.

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Took my breath away.

We followed the locals off-road into the paddy fields and watched them harvest their crops. The Balinese people are a friendly and warmhearted bunch; they waved and smiled happily at us as we passed them by.

We stopped at various points along to way to take pictures, breathe in fresh air, and simply soak in the natural surroundings.

Do wear comfortable walking shoes as there is no proper foot path and weaving your way through the fields may involve navigating some wet steep slopes.

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Some pretty steep steps.

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Enjoying the view and good air.

After our 2.5 hours ‘hike’, we were famished. Lunch was at Kepitu Restaurant, a hidden gem located in The Kayon Resort.

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Kepitu Restaurant, Kayon Resort.

The restaurant design features wood, bamboo and an Alang-Alang grass roof which seamlessly blends in with nature.

From the floating sky roof deck, Kepitu Restaurant boasts a spectacular 180-degree view over the pool and jungle landscape. And a cascading waterfall completes this tropical paradise.

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A view to behold.

Kepitu Restaurant serves a good range of Indonesian cuisine, but have Asian and Western food on their menu too. We tried their Indonesian specialty sets which were good. Here are some food pictures to entice you:

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A relaxing and tranquil dining experience.

After our filling lunch, we were ready to walk off the calories at Campuhan Ridge Walk.

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Campuhan Ridge Walk, Ubud.

Directions to get there: Start your journey at the Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas & Spa on Jalan Campuhan and park your car at the school. Once you see the Campuhan bridge, follow the pathway on the right that leads towards Gunung Lebah Temple and continue until you see a paved road. Walk along the paved road. That is where your adventure begins. 🙂

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A lovely walk with lots of nature to see.

It was an unusually romantic short trek that took us through rice fields, quaint Indonesian huts and exquisitely designed villas.

Butterflies and dogs accompanied us on the leisurely 2-3km stroll, which made it all the more enjoyable. If you’re tired, you can make a pit stop on your way back at Karsa Kafe.

Make sure you stay sufficiently hydrated and apply layers of mozzie repellant!

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A great retreat from hectic city life.

Next up, dinner at Bebek Tepi Sawah Restaurant — a dining experience where it is all about the Bebek (the duck).

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Bebek Tepi Sawah Restaurant.

At the restaurant, you will find duck statues everywhere, ducks splashing around in the pond, and of course the delicious crispy duck on your plate.

Situated at the corner of a picturesque green rice paddy field, you can gaze out from your private pavilion across the rows of little rice plants and listen to the gentle buzz of the surrounding nature.

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Dining with nature at its very best.

Bebek Tepi Sawah Restaurant serves a wide selection of cuisine, including contemporary western and innovative Indonesian/Balinese specialties. One must-try is the legendary Bebek Betutu or Balinese smoked duck. The crispy duck with sambal was awesome too. (My stomach is growling as I type this.)

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All ready to conquer the ducks!

Day 2

We started off our second day in Ubud at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.

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Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Ubud.

You can enter the monkey forest through one of three gates: the main gate at the southern end of Monkey Forest Rd; from 100m further east near the car park; or from the southern side near Nyuh kuning.

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Hello there!!

The sanctuary is inhabited by a band of over 600 grey-haired (and greedy!) long-tailed Balinese macaques who are a far cry from the innocent-looking doe-eyed monkeys on the brochures.

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“If you’re not gonna listen to Mama, I’ll pull your tail.”

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Basking in the sun.

We were super amused at how intelligent the monkeys were, especially on matters pertaining to bananas. I saw one monkey pull down a man’s shorts (!!!) to steal the banana that was tucked in his boxers and another reach into a lady’s pocket to retrieve a banana.

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Mission accomplished – BANANAS.

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Towering ancient trees at Money Forest.

We had lunch at Swept Away Restaurant (located in Samaya Resort), by far one of the best restaurants of the entire trip — both in terms of ambiance and food.

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Took a buggy ride down to Swept Away Restaurant, Samaya Resort.

A wooden deck at Swept Away is just inches from the mighty Ayung River – sit back, unwind and let your worries get swept away as you dine along the riverside surrounded by lush greenery.

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Ayung River.

The meal started on a good note with complimentary bread that was super fluffy, soft and warm. Not to mention the amazing butter!!!

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Complimentary bead and butter.

Swept Away serves a varied and eclectic menu with various menu options throughout the day: breakfast menu, light lunch menu, small bites menu serving Asian-style tapas, and two dinner menus (a la carte and degustation).

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Lunch at Swept Away.

All our mains and dishes for sharing were made to perfection and our tummies were really happy.

After lunch, we went down to the riverside to take photos and bask in the cool sea breeze.

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Fun fact: The Ayung River is the longest river (75km!) on the Indonesian island of Bali.

We also explored the grounds of Samaya Resort, which overlooks some gorgeous paddy fields. If I ever visit Ubud again, I will be very tempted to stay a couple of nights at The Samaya Ubud. 🙂

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Wouldn’t you love waking up to this!

After lunch, we headed to the Tegenungan Waterfall in Gianyar. From the viewing deck, you can see the majestic waterfall in the distance.

However, for a closer sight, you would need to descend the stairs down the river. If you have knee problems or have many young children with you, I’d advise not going down. The stairs are steep and the climb back up is treacherous.

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“165 steps up. Good luck.”

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Dad and mom decided not to follow us all the way down.

That said, Tegenungan waterfall is a dazzlingly refreshing retreat in Ubud. The rich green surroundings and perfectly flowing fresh water make a beautiful sight for all.

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Tegenungan Waterfall, Ubud.

I saw many tourists take a dip in the river; some adventurous ones even jumped into the waterfall from a 15 meters height. If you’re thinking of swimming/frolicking in the river, there are shower facilities where you can change.

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Love the sounds and the power of pounding water.

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Kopi Luwak Tea stop before dinner.

After all that climbing of stairs to see Tegenungan waterfall, we were in a dire need of some protein. Dinner was at Warung Ibu Oka, a place famous for its Babi Guling (Balinese-style whole roasted suckling pig).

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Giving us a warm welcome to Warung Ibu Oka.

To make Babi Guling, the entire pig is stuffed with a combination of spices used in traditional Indonesian cooking including turmeric, coriander seeds, lemon grass and more.

Usually, the Babi Guling is served up in big chunks in a rattan bowl with rice, fried intestines, spicy vegetables and Ibu Oka’s secret sauce. Unfortunately, by the time we got there around 7 p.m., most of the stuff (Babi Guling included) were sold out.

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Babi Guling and vegetables were sold out. 😦

We were left with limited choices and the dinner wasn’t fantastic. The only consolation was that Agent D and I made friends with many of the resident dogs of Ibu Oka.

Such cuties!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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Dinner companions for the night.

Day 3

Time always flies when you’re holidaying and day 3 marked our last day in Ubud. SOBS. Before checking out of the villa, we took a dip in the pool.

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One with nature.

After all the sightseeing, day 3 was reserved specially for SHOPPING (much to Agent D’s dismay). We headed down to Ubud Traditional Art Market, locally referred to as ‘Pasar Seni Ubud’, to search for unique handcrafted souvenirs to take home with us.

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Ubud Traditional Art Market.

Ubud Traditional Art Market sells loads of stuff — silk scarves, batik, silver jewelry, paintings, woven bags, wooden house decor, and the list goes on. Most of the goods are made in the neighbouring villages of Pengosekan, Tegallalang, Payangan and Peliatan.

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Shopping streets.

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Handmade dogs for sale, anyone?

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Section of the market that was burnt down by a huge fire in 2016.

Fun fact: there was a scene in Hollywood movie Eat Pray Love where actress Julia Roberts and a male character were filmed strolling through the stalls. 😉

Oh and don’t forget to bargain at the market! As the place can get very crowded in the day, keep your bag in front of you at all times with the zipper closed.

Some of my shopping loot:

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Hand-painted flower portrait.

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Wooden tray for remote controls/drinks.

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A family of 3 giraffes, carved by hand.

Our last lunch in Ubud was at Bridges Bali, a lovely restaurant to close our trip.

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Bridges Bali Restaurant.

Bridges is situated at the end of the two Campuhan Bridges, and nestled right in the valley overlooking the River Wos. Hence the restaurant’s motto ‘Where worlds meet’.

There are 7 distinctive levels where you can choose to dine on; whether you are settled and relaxed on the terraces surrounded by tranquil greenery or down by the riverside, I guarantee you an enjoyable meal.

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Take the spiral staircase up or down to the level of your choice.

We chose one of the uppermost levels where we could gaze out across the picturesque valley as we dined.

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Interior of the restaurant with a backdrop of greenery.

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Showing us to our seat.

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Awatch as the outside world continues on the bridges above you.

Their food was fantastic, every dish was cooked to perfection.

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Table flat lay of all the food we ordered.

Along with the ambiance, lunch at Bridges Bali was indulgent and memorable dining at its best!

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An indulgent lunch against nature’s landscape.

Thank you for following me on this adventure! xx

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Now what’s next? 🙂

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Explore Indonesia #4: Beautiful Bali (Accommodation)

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Missing the sun, sand and sea.

Hello there! I was in Bali whole of last week with some friends and did not bring along my laptop. Hence the absence of entries the past week. As with all holidays, the 6 days in Bali flew past at lightning speed and here I am back in Jakarta resuming my normal daily routines (spent a large part of yesterday and today marketing, restocking the fridge, cooking, washing, etc). AHH I WANNA GO BACK TO BALI. 😦 As I type this, I’m currently missing the sun, sand, and sea. And of course, the good food and great company I had.

As I have just TOO MANY pictures, I’ve decided to split my Bali travel post into three entries — lodging and accommodation, places to eat (Seminyak), places to eat (Nusa Dua). This post will be on lodging and accommodation in Seminyak and Nusa Dua, where we stayed for 2 nights and 3 nights respectively.

Seminyak is a beach town in South Bali and is known to be more upmarket and sophisticated than Kuta. Luxury accommodations are aplenty and fashionable high-end (touristy) restaurants/bars line the streets. In our search for lodging (we were looking at villas specifically) in Seminyak, our key priorities were:

  • Central location (i.e. near downtown)
  • Fully air-conditioned (many villas have an open-air concept which comes along with LOADS OF MOSQUITOES. Ouch.)
  • New (i.e. still in a good state).

Juli and I finally settled on Hu’u Villas after much research. Hu’u villas is located in the heart of Seminyak; the beach and the Oberoi road shopping strips are merely 5-minutes away by foot.

Our two-bedroom villa is about 225min size and is split into two levels. Its decor is contemporary and modern yet comfortable. The ground level consists of the living and dining areas while the bedrooms are on the second level.

The villa also comes with a private swimming pool and a deck to laze around. I particularly like the large glass-panelled doors which open up to the swimming pool, allowing the soft morning hues of sunlight to stream in. Here’s baby Joseph enjoying his morning dip!

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Hello there, fatty! WHY YOU SO CUTE.

The master bedroom is very spacious and has a four-poster king-sized bed in the middle. Juli and Lewis were very kind to let us have the master bedroom (she had earlier written to the hotel management to place the baby cot in the other bedroom). THANK YOU JUWIS.  ❤ ❤ ❤

My favourite part of the master bedroom was THE BATHROOM. The naturally lit bathroom comes with a giant egg-shaped bathtub, spacious rainforest shower, defined double sinks set in concrete, and backlit mirrors. The sunroof (or moonroof) allows one to enjoy a bubble bath whilst admiring the clouds (or stars). Simply awesome.

The second bedroom is somewhat similar in design and style to the master bedroom, except that the bathroom is much smaller.

We can order our ‘breakfast’ anytime from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (unlike most hotels which stop serving breakfast at 10 a.m.). Perfect for sleeping in till noon heh. They have an all-day brunch menu and guests can order any one thing on the menu. I also liked the fact that breakfast is served in the comfort of our own villa. Here are some pictures of the breakfast options:

During our time in Seminyak, we also dropped by W Retreat & Spa Bali Seminyak to look-see. I must say they have some pretty grounds!

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Tourists at W Hotel.

In case you’re thinking of staying there, here are some pictures for your reference. 🙂

Not to forget the pristine white beach fronting W Hotel:

Juli and I felt like we were getting roasted under the scorching hot sun and decided to seek refuge with baby Joseph and daddy Lewis (who were enjoying the cool shade of the hotel cafe). Out of boredom, we took many photos with the little fatty, much to his baby-dismay haha.

That’s about it for our lodging and accommodation in Seminyak. On to Nusa Dua now. X


Nusa Dua is a peninsula in South Bali, well-known as an enclave of higher end hotels. The beaches in Nusa Dua are glorious – white sand, deep, long stretches and safe for swimming. We wanted to pick a nice resort to just stay in, relax, and enjoy the facilities. And we found a GEM in The Ritz-Carlton, Bali.

Located on the southern tip of Nusa Dua, The Ritz-Carlton Bali blends into the lush surrounding landscape. The resort has a cliff top perch that reveals a 180-degree view of the Indian Ocean below. Pictures don’t do the view justice. It’s breath-taking, really. Guests can descend to the beach level in a glass elevator which keeps the view always present before them.

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From the cliff top perch: view of the entire resort and the Indian Ocean.

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Agent D and I superimposing ourselves on the magnificent landscape.

The service in Ritz-Carlton Bali is plain awesome. They had a staff personally welcome us at the lobby with welcome drinks, see to our check-in, take us on a buggy all the way to our room, and even followed up with a phone call one hour later to check if everything was okay. Anywhere we wanted to go within the resort (be it the pool, beach, gym, meeting place for breakfast, etc) – all we had to do was call for a buggy from our room and the buggy driver would be at our doorstep in 5 minutes.

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All of us on the buggy (missing Sasha!).

All the hotel blocks have a meandering pool fronting them. Juli and Lewis paid an additional USD50++/night to be upgraded to the room with lagoon access (i.e. pool right outside your balcony). SHIOK.

Our junior suite was designed to be open plan and had modular doors to provide private spaces. The bedroom was large and had an attached living area by the balcony. Here are some pictures of our room with modern Balinese decor:

After putting down our things, Agent D and I decided to take a dip in the main swimming pool overlooking the beach. It was nearing 5.30 p.m. and the sun was setting – I wasn’t particularly excited about the cold pool water (brrrrrr). But to my astonishment, the pool was nice and warm. It was an OPEN-AIR HEATED POOL. How awesome is that.

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Taken at 4 p.m. the next day with more sunlight.

There are many deck chairs and bedded huts surrounding the pool area – perfect for just lounging around/sunbathing. Both Daddy Lewis and baby Joseph managed to take a short nap whilst we swam in the pool. Christian pretended to drop fatty into the pool, much to Juli’s dismay hahaha.

The beach area was just as lovely as the poolside. Sadly, the sand was quite prickly which made it painful to walk on. :/

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Nomads in cool bathrobes. Where did our camels go?!

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A groupie shot (again missing Sasha).

Ritz built a beautiful glass-lit seaside chapel for couples to exchange their vows in a lush, tropical setting facing the Indian Ocean. I can imagine that moment to be very magical.

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Boys will always be boys.

The resort has many facilities within — spa and salon center, fitness center, hydrojet pool (my personal favourite), main pool, and so on.

The hydrojet pool, with its various stations, was the perfect cure to our aching muscles and joints after a long swim.  Totally great for circulation and relaxation! 🙂

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The amazing hydrojet pool.

The fitness center has a wide variety of cardiovascular and strength-training equipment and a personal trainer on standby. Agent D had a good time running on the treadmill whilst watching cable TV (each treadmill has its own TV screen with a list of channels to choose from). He got so carried away with the programme that he completely lost track of time!

Apart from the resort’s facilities, there are various activities for guests to participate in throughout the day (e.g., gentle yoga, surf initiation, latte art class, introduction to pilates, cocktail class, etc).

On the third day of our stay, Agent D tried out the surf initiation class while I watched him from afar in a comfortable hut (in the shade). Sadly, the weather was not on his side; there were hardly any waves for him to ride on! Poor Agent D. 

I went for sushi-making class with Christian and we learnt how to make California roll from Ritz’s head Japanese chef. ‘Twas a pretty fun experience!

All the restaurants within Ritz-Carlton Bali come with spectacular views which complement every morsel of food. I totally forgot to take photos of the breakfast buffet spread (my bad). Was too busy checking everything out! *impending double chin*

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Carrying baby Joesph around during breakfast time. HOW I MISS THIS FATTY.

All in all, both Agent D and myself enjoyed our super duper ultra relaxing stay at Ritz Carlton. If not for the rather pricey room rates, I’d probably be heading there every other weekend heh.